A Little Magic, A Little Kindness: The Complete Mono Albums Collection

A Little Magic, A Little Kindness: The Complete Mono Albums Collection

by Laura NyroLaura Nyro


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Laura Nyro was a pop original who seamlessly wove folk, Brill Building pop, jazz, blues, soul, and gospel into a sound and innovative rhythmic piano style that remains wholly her own. Many of her most iconic songs supplied hits to the 5th Dimension ("Stoned Soul Picnic," "Blowin' Away," "Sweet Blindness," and, of course, "Wedding Bell Blues"), Barbra Streisand ("Stoney End"), Blood, Sweat & Tears ("And When I Die"), Frankie Valli ("Emmie"), and Three Dog Night ("Eli's Coming"). Then there's her own monster hit: "Save the Country." Remarkably, all of the songwriter's original versions of these songs appear on Real Gone Music's A Little Magic, a Little Kindness: The Complete Mono Albums Collection, which contains her first two albums, More Than a New Discovery (1967) and Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968), plus bonus material. Further, this package restores More Than a New Discovery -- cut when Nyro was only 19 -- to its original sequencing. (After her signing to Columbia, it was re-released years later as the budget First Songs with an inferior track restructuring.) This new set also contains the Bones Howe-produced pop single version of "Save the Country" (which was her most successful), restores the uncensored version of "Wedding Bell Blues," and includes the 45 mix of "Eli's Coming." The mono version of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession was serviced only to DJs and other music-biz insiders -- at least in the United States. The commercially released stereo version climbed to number 32 on the charts and was Nyro's most successful long-player, in no small part due to the success of "Save the Country," a song that is inarguably just as poignant in the 21st century. Some Nyro devotees swear by the mono mixes of the latter album, but that's mostly a point of argument among audiophiles. Ultimately, it hardly matters. Vic Anesini's painstaking remasters were done at Sony's Battery Studios. They're dynamic, immediate, and powerfully resonant in force and restraint. On More Than a New Discovery, Nyro didn't play piano. Producer Milt Okun convinced her -- perhaps rightfully -- that her rhythmically complex playing style might make it difficult for the session aces he employed (including Bucky Pizzarelli and Toots Thielemans) to follow his artfully rendered charts, and she fully agreed. One of her bona fide masterpieces (and one on which label boss Clive Davis gave her full creative control), the latter album for Columbia was produced by Charlie Calello, who used her piano and vocal demos as building blocks. The rhythm section and vocals were recorded live -- with piano right up-front -- and showcased her gorgeous syncopated style woven into songs supported by a righteous rhythm section that included Chuck Rainey, Hugh McCracken, and drummers Artie Schroeck and Buddy Salzman. (Zoot Sims and Joe Farrell were guest soloists on "Lonely Women" and "Poverty Train," respectively.) The package contains exhaustive, authoritative liner notes by Second Disc Records' Joe Marchese; it is indispensable for Nyro fans, but just as importantly opens the door onto a world of sound and music that an entirely new generation would do well to discover.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/07/2017
Label: Real Gone Music
UPC: 0848064005681
catalogNumber: 0568
Rank: 47019

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laura Nyro   Primary Artist,Piano,Voices
Herb Bernstein   Conductor

Technical Credits

Laura Nyro   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Bob Alcivar   Arranger
Herb Bernstein   Arranger
Bones Howe   Producer
Roy Segal   Engineer
Val Valentin   Director Of Engineering
Harry Yarmark   Engineer
Rob Santos   Producer
Gordon Anderson   Executive Producer
John Sellards   Art Direction
Michael Malatak   Cover Design
Murray Laden   Cover Photo
Joe Marchese   Liner Notes
Stanley Tonkel   Engineer
Milt Okun   Producer
Charlie Calello   Arranger,Producer

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